The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is MLB Umpire Mike Winters. He gets the award for the following.
Veteran umpire Mike Winters, suspended for the remainder of the regular season Wednesday for his confrontation with San Diego outfielder Milton Bradley, also will lose the opportunity to land a lucrative postseason assignment because of his actions.A Padres coach claimed Winters baited Bradley. Apparently Major League Baseball agrees, otherwise why suspend the umpire?
Winters, in his 18th season, is being suspended without pay and will not be a member of the postseason crew, according to two baseball officials familiar with the situation. Winters has worked in nine of the past 10 postseasons, including the World Series in 2002 and 2006.
Major League Baseball, in its brief public statement, made no mention of details of the suspension, but two MLB officials involved in the decision said it was because Winters, 48, was unprofessional and used profanity in the incident with Bradley.
Bradley, who has a reputation of losing his temper, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he was thrown to the ground by Padres manager Bud Black, who was attempting to keep the outfielder from physically going after Winters during Sunday's game against Colorado in San Diego.This is the second scandal involving professsional sports umpires or referees in the last few months. The integrity of a sport can come into question because of these officails, Winters actions on the field leave serious questions about how impartial he can be. MLB I think was right to suspend the umpire for the rest of the year, but does that go far enough?
Padres first-base coach Bobby Meacham, who overheard the argument between Winters and Bradley, said he wasn't particularly glad about the suspension: "Just or unjust, it's irrelevant in my mind. He made a mistake. Should he pay forever for it? No.
"I just think the truth should come out, and everybody should learn from this. It was not baiting. Those were just the easiest words to select. You're in the heat of the battle, all of a sudden you'll say things you wish you could take back. Everybody should learn from this. If we don't, shame on us."
The last umpires to be suspended were Bruce Froemming and Hirschbeck, both for 10 days in 2003. Froemming made an anti-Semitic slur about an umpiring administrator, and Hirschbeck was charged with threatening a senior official in the commissioner's office.
Major League Baseball Umpire Mike Winters is today's Knucklehead of the Day.
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